Music and sound effects are key to having a great gaming experience. Having the right pair of gaming headphones will help you enhance that experience with a good sound, a comfortable design, and a microphone. that means gaming headsets are a little more specialized than typical headphones. They usually have more dedicated software support, lots of active features and customization options, and a better mic. However, they're also bulkier and not ideal to use outdoors and are often limited by the range of their transmitter. Furthermore, if you do not care about microphones, then most wired, critical listening headphones would be a good option.
So far, we've reviewed 283 headphones and below are our recommendations for the best gaming headsets to buy in 2019. See also our recommendations for the best PS4 headsets, the best Xbox One headsets, and the best wireless gaming headsets.
The best gaming headphones we’ve tested so far are the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless. It is an outstanding gaming headset that is incredibly versatile since it uses not only a USB wireless transmitter, like most gaming headsets, but also supports Bluetooth. It can mix audio from both wireless sources at the same time and is great for gamers who like to chat on their smartphone while gaming on their console.
The Arctis Pro Wireless have impressive sound and come with a great wireless base transmitter that has aux, USB, and optical inputs for compatibility with almost all gaming systems and home theatre setups. The base transmitter also functions as a battery charging station, and the Arctis Pro Wireless have removable batteries.
Unfortunately, there have been reports of issues with the microphone. While resetting the base transmitter or performing a firmware update seems to help, it is rather disappointing that this model does not have more microphone control. If you mostly game on PC and need greater microphone control, take a look at the Arctis Pro GameDAC. They have even more customization options, but their lack of wireless connectivity makes them less versatile overall than the Arctis Pro Wireless.
If you want a more ergonomic alternative to the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless and you mostly use your gaming headphones at home, then get the Astro A50 instead. They’re not as versatile as the Arctis Pro Wireless since they do not support Bluetooth, but their adjustable headband can expand to accommodate a greater variety of head shapes and sizes, and their fit is overall more comfortable.
Unlike the Arctis Pro Wireless or the HyperX Cloud Flight, the Astro A50 do not have an outdoor-friendly design, since you have to use the base station and they do not come with an audio cable or have a wired option to use with console controllers. On the upside, their base station supports dock charging and provides a nice place to store and charge your headphones when not in use. If you primarily use your headphones just for gaming or need a good headset for watching movies, then the Astro A50s are a good choice.
If you're looking for a unique VR-like experience, then consider the Audeze Mobius. They don’t have the connection options or base station of the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless or the Astro A50, but they have a unique head tracking feature and 3D audio that sets them apart. They're Bluetooth 5.0 compatible, headphones that can also be used wired with the provided USB-C or a 1/8" TRRS cable. This makes them a bit more versatile than typical gaming headsets, since you can use them wirelessly with your phone and still benefit from the unique soundstage features and well-balanced sound when listening to your tracks.
Unfortunately, their USB connection only has full support on PC for now, though this may be updated with a software patch at a later date. Although they are comfortable, they are still somewhat bulky headphones that won't be the ideal choice for outdoor use. On the other hand, they're the only headset we've tested with this level of active soundstage for a closed back-headset, making them a good choice for gaming and critical listening.
If you like what the Arctis Pro Wireless have to offer but find them too expensive and don’t need all their endless features, get the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition. They're well-built and comfortable headphones that offer many of the same functionalities as the Arctis Pro Wireless but are quite a bit cheaper. They’re versatile enough for gaming, watching movies, or even critical listening.
Like the Arctis Pro Wireless, the Arctis 7 sound great. They don’t have the same removable battery system, but they still have a great battery life of 24 hours. Their wireless dongle provides a low latency gaming experience and has an aux input for compatibility with most audio sources. They don’t support Bluetooth, but it’s possible to connect them to your smartphone or mobile devices with their included audio cable.
Unfortunately, they are not the most console-friendly gaming headphones since they only have wireless audio and voice chat support on the PS4 and PC, but not the Xbox One. They're also a bit bulkier than the HyperX Cloud Flight, which are slightly better for outdoor use but have fewer customization options. Overall, the Arctis 7 2019 Edition are impressive gaming headphones that are a great lower-cost alternative to the Arctis Pro Wireless.
If you mostly game on PC and like to have different setups for each game you play, then the Logitech G933 are a good option. They do not have as many connectivity options as the Arctis Wireless Pro or the Astro A50, but they are more customizable and offer a greater range of options that you can fine-tune to suit your needs. They have programmable buttons on the back of the left earcup which allows you to switch between different profiles, EQs, and LED settings. You can also map and configure these buttons to your liking via the Logitech Gaming software.
Unfortunately, the Logitech G933 have a pretty ordinary battery, especially when compared to the Arctis 7 2019 Edition. That said, if you like to tweak your headset, then the G933 are a good pair of gaming headphones that look better and feel more premium than the other Logitech G series headphones that we've tested so far.
If the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition are too expensive and you prefer a wired headset anyway, get the HyperX Cloud II. They do not have as many features as the Logitech G933 or the Arctis 7, but they make up for it with their great build quality and comfortable, well-padded earcups. They feel sturdy and durable and come with an excellent boom mic that reproduces your voice accurately when playing multiplayer games. Also, since the mic is detachable, they can look more like casual headphones when used outdoors on your mobile devices.
Unfortunately, they don’t have any customization options, but this also means there are no battery or latency issues to worry about. If you want a gaming headphone and do not care much for a wireless design, then the Cloud II is definitely worth considering.
If you're looking for a decent gaming headset that won’t break the bank, get the Corsair HS60. They do not have the more premium design of the HyperX Cloud II, and the recording quality of their microphone is not as good as some of the other gaming headsets we've tested, but they provide great value at their current price.
The Corsair HS60 sound very good, and even though they’re not wireless, they can still be customized via the Corsair Utility Engine app. They offer a sleek and sturdy wired design with a detachable boom mic for added versatility. They're comfortable with large well-padded ear cups, and they have a well-balanced sound, which makes them suitable for both gaming and critical listening.
The HyperX Stinger are another good budget gaming option with a much better boom mic for in-game chats, but their build quality does not look or feel as premium as the Corsair for about the same price. If really like the fit and sound of the HS60 but want wireless headphones and are willing to stretch your budget a bit, consider the wireless Corsair HS70.
If you’re a gamer trying to keep your peripheral expenses to a minimum, consider the Logitech G430, They’re not as well-built as the Corsair HS60 but they’re still a decent pair of gaming headphones especially considering they’re under $50. They sound good, have a decent microphone, and are fairly comfortable.
Though they do have access to some customization features through the Logitech Gaming Software, they aren’t as customizable as other models in the Logitech G series. They also feel quite cheap, especially compared to the build quality of the Corsair HS60, which often come on sale. That said, they’re still an okay pick for gamers on a budget who are looking for a low-cost headset.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best gaming headphones to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper headphone wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for headphones that are good for gaming. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection, especially if you do not care about having a microphone or wireless features.